They Didn't Stand A Chance

Brief Title:

Ms. Marvel, Scarlet Witch, Mockingbird and Arachne

Scene Runner/Watcher:

IC Date:


HYDRA gets its butt handed to them by the ladies of the Avengers.

Social or Plot:


The alert, when it sounds, begins with Bobbi and Carol, who are contacted by Maria Hill via secured video frequency directly to their Avengers ID cards. Her face looks tense, surrounded by a haze of smoke, with a chin-strap and eye-piece clearly as part of SHIELD-issue field combat gear.

"Danvers, Morse. This is Hill. We have an incident. You two are the immediate notification list." The sounds of blaster fire sound in the background, and Hill ducks a bit lower towards the video pickup.

"We have an incursion at facility Whiskey Oscar X-ray One-niner." The name refers to a largely off-book SHIELD medical facility, specifically one where four mutant teenagers have been ensconced, undergoing ongoing medical treatment after having been rescued by Bobbi and Logan from an MGH-production lab. That name, in a call like this, is enough for cold shivers down the spine.

"An overwhelming force of HYDRA operatives and material has made a beachhead, and an extraction team has already pulled out with your precious cargo aboard. The two pursuit quinjets I sent after them have both gone splashdown, all transponders are dark. I am executing code Alpha, on Fury's authority. You are hereby authorized to take whatever steps you deem necessary to track, locate and retrieve the precious cargo. Data packets should already be inbound from the carrier with our last telemetry. Hill out."

Just as the connection cuts, both women can hear a massive explosion and see the flash of it take out everything behind Hill, flashing forward when the pickup cuts.

Three seconds later, the alert sounds throughout Avengers' Mansion and on every ID card not currently engaged in critical operations.

Mockingbird's face is tense as she listens to the briefing, the blonde in costume already and at the Mansion. "Roger that, Hill..." she replies, just as the connection fritzes out. "Damn." she mutters, turning to sprint towards the armory. Grabbing up a couple of her favorites, Bobbi straps a short-barrel shotgun to one thigh and a Sig Sauer in holser to the opposite hip. As she's 'dressing' she taps her comm. "Carol? You get that? I'm in the Mansion, on my way downstairs. Be there in 20 seconds."

Scarlet Witch was already in costume when the alert hit, looking like she was about to get some combat practice in when the alert started buzzing on her badge. Blinking in surprise, she activates her comm, "Carol, this is Wanda. I'm in the Mansion and ready to go, but what's going on?"

When the call comes in Arachne is just coming in the Mansion, after having taken some free time to run down a few leads on another issue she is having to deal with regarding gangs and Chinatown. She is also already suited up and just has to pull her mask over her face, "I'm on my way as well." with only that said she quickly moves to join the rest of the voluteers to deal with the threat.

Ms. Marvel fields the calls as quickly as she can, shimmering with a golden glow as her civilian businesswoman's attire disappears to be replaced with her Ms. Marvel costume. "I got the message, Bobbi. Ready the quinjet. We'll brief in flight. I'm routing a copy of the telemetry feeds to the jet for review." she answers, starting her dash towards the flight deck. "I'll explain in flight, Wanda. We have four young mutants who have just been kidnapped by HYDRA out of SHIELD medical custody. Meet Bobbi in the quinjet." For Julia, she offers simply, "Thanks. See you there."

Carol arrives in flight, having cleared the lift tube and flown down to reach the quinjet hangar as quickly as possible. She lands on the loading bay ramp and keys it to close as she quick-steps up and makes for the cockpit. "Morning, ladies. Sorry for the abrupt call to arms. Bobbi, please route any further responses to the alert through the Mansion to us with notice to meet us at our coordinates. Then we need to brief Julia and Wanda in flight." The hotshot jet jockey takes the pilot's seat and lights up the engines as the hangar bay launch doors roll open. "Strap in."

Moments later, the Avengers quinjet is streaking across the skies, tracking after the telemetry feed coordinates even as Bobbi works on satellite imagery to try to track the HYDRA extraction force after the SHIELD jets lost them. "Short version is, Bobbi and our 'friend' Logan from upstate located a Mutant Growth Hormone operation a while back. In the process of that, they rescued four kids who had been the sources for the MGH. They were comatose and in bad shape. SHIELD was called in to secure the site, and they took custody of the kids for medical aid and security. Bobbi and I were just contacted by Maria Hill, who informed us that HYDRA just hit a secret and highly secure SHIELD medical base, and extracted those kids. The jets they set after them were shot down. We've been asked - as interested parties - to hunt down the HYDRA bastards and rescue those kids." She lets Bobbi fill in anything more the other woman thinks is perinent, between queries to the satellite system.

Mockingbird nods briskly to Carol and taps a sequence on her comm unit to reroute the alerts. "Got it, Carol." Not a pilot herself, she jogs over to the jet and finds a seat, strapping in tightly. Listening to Carol's summary, the blonde adds. "The messy version is that these kids were having their cerebral matter harvested like lab monkeys." Pursing her lips, she wrinkles her nose and then checks her guns. "Carol, I assume standard Avenger response protocols still apply?" A polite way of asking whether lethal force is authorized, but still.

Scarlet Witch looks at Carol, nodding, then when Mockingbird makes her speech, Wanda's expression hardens quite a bit. Muttering something under her breath in Romani, she then takes a deep breath, "Alright, so we think HYDRA is going to put these kids back on the... production line. Do we have any idea of what they're using, aside from the force needed to destroy a secret SHIELD base?"

Jumping into the quinjet with little effort, Arachne drops into the backseat and straps herself in as she listens to the rundown of the situation. The frown on her face is the only part of her expression that can be seen but with that and body language she obviously is not happy, "I wouldn't put anything past HYDRA these days. What state were the kids in when the were taken? Were they willing, unwilling?"

Still flying the jet, veering to the pursuit course as she pushes the quinjet to speeds few even military aircraft can match, Carol still finds time to field questions - that's just the way it is for a hot shot fighter pilot. "Until we have more intel, yes. Standard Avengers response protocols apply. Which does not mean kid gloves. I expect this to be hot and heavy fighting, given they've already taken out that base and a pair of chase jets." she answers Bobbi.

At Wanda's good question, Carol glances over to Bobbi. "Pull up everything we got on the data subchannels from SHIELD, and give us a rundown." Clearly Carol can't manage that and fly. And it's good information to have.

"Last intel I had on them," Carol answers Julia in turn, "said the kids were all still comatose, but that two of them had come off of necessary life support thanks to their latest treatments. They're in no shape to be willing, but they might someday have come back from vegetable status." That's how bad it is. How ugly.

Mockingbird taps the computer console on the quinjet, and she frowns at what she sees. "Damn..." she mutters, keys tapping. "Sharing on all monitors, now." she replies, before narrating for Carol. "HYDRA wanted these kids pretty bad, it seems. They hit the base with twenty heavy Dreadnought robots, fifty HYDRA troopers, two Skullships, and six high-speed aircraft similar to quinjets. And a partridge in a pear tree." More tapping, then she adds. "Pursuit target is three aircraft and six to eight HYDRA troopers. We need to get them before they reach the base, or this gets ugly pretty fast."

Scarlet Witch frowns slightly, leaning forward, "How far out are they yet?" She looks over at Carol, "I can possibly cook up some turbulence, but I worry about what might happen to the kids. But Bobbi is right, we need to try and stop those aircraft before they make it to the base." She then quiets, looking thoughtful as she thinks of solutions.

Arachne watches the monitor and listens to the intel and ideas that flow around her. With a glance to SW she nods at that suggestion "If Wanda stirs up the air, I can gum up the engines with some webbing, maybe force them to land before making the base? Do we know the specific vehicle the kids are secured in? Maybe we should just focus on that one.

"We are thirty-five miles from Tango-X-Ray, the last confirmed telemetry we have on the jets. That puts us ... less than a minute out." Carol answers Wanda's question, restraining herself from cursing at the knowledge of just how heavily HYDRA hit the SHIELD base to get these kids. "Bobbi's satellite hunting turned up what appear to be our birds, nearly two hundred miles from here now. I've turned up the speed as hot as I can to catch them before they get to a base and touch down. Keep a satellite lock on them for as long as you can, and let us know if they get an escort flight or land." At that range, it might be three to four minutes before they can catch their targets. And yes, that means they're flying around Mach 3-4 right now. "If I can manage it, I'm going to overfly them and then open things up for you two to do what you can."

Mockingbird continues pulling down the intel, alternating between that and the sysrep display. "Got 'em, Carol. Nothing else on tactical yet. SHIELD estimates two kids in Tango Two and the other two in Tango Three. Julia, I like your plan. I'd just broaden it to take down everything in the flight. Never know."

Scarlet Witch nods, "Best way to make sure to get all three... haven't really done much on this scale for magic before, but I'll manage. And the problem with hexing the planes would be... well, they'd likely crash." She then closes her eyes, murmuring under her breath as she sits upright in her seat, channeling the magic that will (hopefully) make those jets start to have some problems!

The force of the acceleration pushes all four women hard into their seat backs as Ms. Marvel pushes the Avengers' quinjet to its utmost. "Overflying Tango-X-ray now ... estimate three minutes to intercept." she calls, as Bobbi continues to keep a very close eye on the satellite tracking on their supposed targets.

Unfortunately for our heroines, at about the two minute mark Mockingbird will be able to report that the HYDRA jets are now circling and coming in for a landing at a strip below, somewhere in southern Idaho. By the time the Avengers' jet is almost on top of the target, all three jets have touched down below, and they are quickly being approached by a gathering of HYDRA dreadnaught robots and HYDRA troopers.

"OK, ladies. No such luck with our in-flight intercept. So we're going in hot. Bobbi, get me firing solutions on those dreadnoughts. Wanda, Julia, prepare to drop. I'm going to stoop us and come in blistering hot so they have the minimum of warning." Ms. Marvel advises, and she suits actions to her words as she literally snaps open the airscoop brakes on the plane and drops it virtually like a stone, nose first aimed at the targets below. As soon as Bobbi clears the firing solution, Ms. Marvel launches all four of the quinjet's onboard missiles, flying the plane down into the wake of their jetwash and the flaring heat blooms of their explosive impacts on four of those large, very nasty robots.

"Hatch open in three ... two ... one ... GO!" Carol shouts, as the hatch snaps open from a toggle switch on her control console. The plane is within a thousand feet of the ground, still screaming as it dumps speed against the force of gravity's acceleration. Rough landing, indeed, but she's already sending her Avengers out to face the enemy.

Mockingbird grins over at the redhead. "Hey, if it was EASY, then ANYBODY could do it. And they'd be selling red capes at Nieman Marcus...." And then Carol kicks in the burners and Bobbi focuses on the g-forces. "Dammit." she mutters, as the jets land. "Right, Carol. Locking in firing solution... Mark." A moment later, the Dreadnaughts are ablaze and she adds. "Nice shooting." And then she's waiting for the hatch to pop, one hand on her harness.

Scarlet Witch looks at Mockingbird with a smile, "Hey, I /did/ see the Incredibles... NO CAPES!" And indeed, her new outfit does /not/ have a cape, as she leaps out, using her own flight magic to sail in for a landing. She then makes a gesture at a group of the HYDRA troopers, giving them a good solid hex as whatever can go wrong for them, most assuredly will. Well, besides having four very angry Avengers dropping in on their base.

"Gum the jets so they can't take off!" Carol grunts out as she fights physics, demanding the seemingly impossible out of that quinjet: that it land, rather than simple crash into the tarmac. There is a reason why Carol Danvers is the pilot of choice for the Avengers, and this would be it. It's not because of her Type A personality or her control-freak Chairwoman status.

As all three of the other Avengers disembark suddenly, mid-air, the fight - such as it is - happens to already be in full swing, considering that for the HYDRA troopers what was supposed to just be standard security escort duty has now unfolded into a blazing inferno of incoming missiles, exploding robots, and a screaming jet that looks sure to just hit the tarmac as another humungous fuel-laden missile. There's a lot of chaos, but not nearly as much as one might usually hope for, and quite a few of those HYDRA troopers are shouting around, assembling their ranks and preparing to counter-attack. There is incoming fire for the Avengers, even as Wanda's flight magic makes all of this something other than an exercise in gravity and splatter patterns.

The hex does blast out, surrounding a good score of the troopers who haven't been knocked flat by the dreadnought explosions. Rifles eject their ammunition cartridges and powerpacks, or they misfire in showers of sparks or explosions. The keenly aware might also spot that the gas tanks on one of the motorized carts has sprunk a leak.

Of the initial ten, four of the dreadnoughts are gone. Two more show signs of damage, whether from shrapnel or the hex of Scarlet Witch is uncertain. The other four seem to be largely in fully functional state, and they close rapidly with the heroes, canons whining as they prepare to attack.

As soon as Arachne's feet touch earth she is running forward to take on one of the funtioning Dreadnaughts. She isn't a speedster, but she certainly moves faster than most humans for short distances. There will be necessary flips and other feats of agility to aid in bullet avoidance as necessary. With a final leap through the air she lands atop one of the large robot Dreadnaughts and slams her fists down into whatever passes for its head, using her strength to tear the section in half.

Mockingbird hits the ground in a tuck-and-roll, coming up at a dead run towards the troopers. Staves snap out into her hands, then are twisted together to make a long staff. She vaults and lands in the midst of the ones who suffered the weapon malfunctions, sweeping the staff behind knees and jamming the butt into body armor joints.

Scarlet Witch flies over towards the jets, dropping a hex on them to make sure that they just don't go anywhere. Trusting her teammates to take care of the robots, she move over to try and get to the kids first. Though, as a precaution, she does have a magical shield around her, just in case some HYDRA sniper gets a lucky shot in.

Bouncing and vaulting around gymnastically turns out to be a good idea, as all three of the Avengers first out of the quinjet do indeed become targets for those HYDRA troopers who are still effectively armed - not many, but a few. Most who try to return fire, of course, instead end up with misfires and malfunctions of a variety of forms, accompanied with cursing and snarling and the like. Those close enough to Mockingbird's first landing spot do try to swing around and use their nice blaster rifles instead as clubs on the agile staff-wielding hero. However, by and large they end up getting in each other's way, or going down as she ducks in and out, smacking knees and heads with that lovely staff of hers.

Arachne reaches one of the still-active dreadnoughts before its systems can get a postiive bead on her, though it is a narrow thing. Her first strike on the head of the robot dents its armored shell, but a follow-up two-fisted strike manages to penetrate, giving her a chance to do a lot of quality electronics damage before another of the dreadnoughts turns and takes aim, blasting at its cohort in order to try to reach the spider-themed Avenger.

Enclosed, lightly-armored medical gurney pods have loaded on carts and wheeled down out of the jets - four pods, two each from two of the jets. The six HYDRA troopers mentioned earlier are also here, and as the Scarlet Witch moves to secure the pods and the children within, they open fire, though their shots will be deflected from her magical shield. Just as she draws near, one of them stops firing and pulls something off of his gold-colored belt, slapping it on one of the pods. "Back off, or the kid ends up splattered!" Darn creeps.

As all of this is taking place, Ms. Marvel finally gets the plane down, its reinforced landing gear barely able to stand up to the pressure of the near-crash landing Carol has subjected it to. With the air-scoops wide open, the craft comes to a lurching halt well short of the end of the runway where the HYDRA troops are engaged. Ms. Marvel unbelts and launches herself from the open hatch in the dorsal surface of the plane, streaking towards the fight to help Arachne with those nasty dreadnoughts before this gets ugly.

Mockingbird isn't near the kids, but she makes efficient work of the HYDRA troopers around her all the same. There's a brief lull in the hand-to-hand fighting as she's cleared the area around her and no other troopers are close. For an instant, she considers sprinting towards the pods to rescue the kids. And then the trooper puts what is probably an explosive device onto the pod. This isn't Mockingbird's area, unfortunately. So she calls out to him. "Hey, pretty-boy. If the kid gets splattered, he's of no use to you either. And while you're thinking about THAT, Sport, think about how long you'd last without him to hide behind."

Oh boy... if looks could kill, that HYDRA mook would already be dead, as Scarlet Witch glares at him. She simply snaps her fingers at the explosive, the lights on the device going dark as the explosive goes quite inert. Then she nearly runs at the offending mook, punching him repeatedly in the face, "YOU DO" *WHAM* "NOT" *SMACK* "THREATEN" *POW!* "CHILDREN!!!" With the last, she lets loose an uppercut that Carol or Steve might be proud of, knocking said mook flat on his back as Wanda then glares at the other HYDRA agents, "Does anyone ELSE want to give that a try???"

As the Dreadnought fires upon the one she just decapitated, Arachne leaps from it, flipping through the air and landing on another Dreadnaught. With a flick of her wrist webbing flies through the air wrapping around the weapon of the currently firing Dreadnaught and she pulls it so that its weapon its weapon is aimed at the one she has landed on. She does make sure that none of the ladies are in line of fire as she weapon changes target, she isn't so worried about HYDRA agents.

To be entirely fair to Mockingbird, the HYDRA trooper never gets the chance to respond to her biting - and accurate - quip. Instead, he is surprised at the failure of his explosive device, and summarily pounded to paste by the Scarlet Witch's annoyance. The other troopers present keep their guns raised, pointing at the Witch, clearly more than a bit concerned with their own safety. None of them try taking aim at the medical pods, or pulling out more explosives, however.

Arachne's moves get her across to the next dreadnought, and line up the canon of the one tracking and firing on her on its ally, with predictable results. The armor on the robots is hefty, so much so that the first shots only dent it. But repeated shots, levied as it tries in vain to target Arachne instead, eventually punch through the armor, disabling its companion. It takes quite a few shots to destroy the robot entirely, but it is done soon enough.

Ms. Marvel flies in low, making quite the target of herself. She doesn't try to avoid or dodge. She comes head on at one of the dreadnoughts, letting every blast hit what it's aiming for - her. The glow around the Kree-infused heroine builds with every shot, and she keeps pouring on the speed, until finally she reaches the dreadnought and slams /through/ it at the main body, coming out with an explosive shower of shrapnel, and pinwheels to fire on the one that just finished killing Arachne's playmate. "Lay down your arms now!" she shouts to the troopers. That'll be their last warning. The ten (roughly) still standing look around at each other and the carnage wrought in so short a period of time, and they take a step back, lowering their rifles.

With the HYDRA troopers quite distracted now, Mockingbird dashes over to the pods. With an air of authority, she swats lowered rifles out of the way with her staff to check on the life support systems. "Put the guns away, boys. And if ANY of these kids has been harmed, I'm giving you all to -her-..." she offers, pointing to the Witch. That being said, she pretty much ignores the troopers as she checks the settings.

Scarlet Witch keeps a watch on the remaining troopers, the green swirling energy of her shield surrounding her and almost making her glow with anger. Which, considering the stunt the trooper attempted, is not too far from the mark. She just keeps an eye on the guards, making sure that they don't try anything dumb now that they've put down their weapons. She does say, towards Mockingbird, "Are they injured?"

The remaining troops aren't going anywhere, Arachne sees to that as webbing springs upward from the ground to wrap around their lower legs. From that webbing springs anchor lines which wrap around wrists, preventing movement of any limbs. "They won't be going anywhere." she reassures the rest.

Ms. Marvel takes the time to obliterate the last two remaining dreadnought robots, rather than trust their malfunctions to continue in their favor, and then lands, still glowing herself, quite angrily. "Thank you, Arachne." she offers, nodding to the woman for the webbing assist. She rests a hand on Wanda's shoulder, giving a light squeeze. "Nice job laying that one out." Then she walks over to hover near the pods, waiting to hear Bobbi's verdict.

The pods are undamaged, and the kids within were actually carefully placed, even to IV units, despite the obvious hurry with which they were snatched. About the only thing objectionable is that they are in HYDRA-green and yellow pods.

"I'll get the word out, and we can wait here for SHIELD to come pick up these guys and collect the pods to take the kids somewhere safe." Carol offers, once Bobbi gives her verdict. That is, assuming no one objects to the idea of returning the kids to SHIELD custody.

Mockingbird looks very relieved, and takes to thoroughly zip-tying HYDRA agent wrists. Perhaps a bit more thoroughly than is necessary, even. "I'm good with it, Ms. Marvel. Although someone needs to talk to Fury about beefing up his security."

Scarlet Witch nods, "I'd almost suggest maybe letting some... mutual friends look after them, instead. It might be safer than a supposedly secret SHIELD base, anyway, and we know they wouldn't be betrayed from within." She doesn't want to say much more than that, but she does give Carol a wan smile at the congratulations, "Thanks... Steve showed me that one, never thought I'd use it."

Arachne doesn't voice any objections to the kids going back into SHIELD custody or where ever it is decided they will go. They are probably in just as good hands as they would be any hospital. With a wave of her hand all the webbing dissapates as Mockingbird secures the troops with more permanent bindings. She will jump off the remains of the dreadnaught she is one and scout the perimeter, making sure there won't be any surprises from other areas of the landing area.

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